Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

EPA fines GrainCorp for handling and reporting offences

Media release: 5 October 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined GrainCorp $16,900 for three separate offences relating to their activities at the Newcastle Grain Terminal in Carrington.

The EPA issued GrainCorp a penalty notice of $15,000 following a March inspection of the grain terminal, where EPA officers observed a number of irresponsible practices including:Grain and grain dust blowing out of a shed onto the railway line at the rail unloading facility

 

  • Grain being tracked by trucks from the terminal to the wharf area,
  • Grain and dust tracked out of the waste dust truck filling station,
  • Two skip bins full of grain and grain dust left open and uncontained,
  • Quantities of grain left sitting in various locations around the truck transport loop area,
  • Trucks not being cleaned completely before leaving the unloading area and consequently causing grain and dust spillage around the site, and
  • No sweeping machines or staff members addressing the spills.

 

An additional penalty of $400 was issued for keeping a registered pesticide in a container without an approved label. GrainCorp uses pesticides as part of its bio-security measures as it transports imported and exported goods but, during an inspection of the site, staff were unable to identify certain liquids.

Finally, a $1,500 penalty was issued when GrainCorp failed to make the required pesticide application record whilst using pesticides to treat a horticultural crop.

All three penalty notices were issued to GrainCorp for specific breaches of their Environment Protection licence, which requires the company to carry out its grain and oilseed supply and delivery activities in a competent manner.

The EPA also served five official cautions to the company in relation to broader emergency planning, licencing, housekeeping and pesticide management issues at the site.

NSW EPA Acting Director Hunter Karen Marler said the correct handling of pesticides was serious given the grain terminal’s proximity to residents.

“The GrainCorp premises is adjacent to residential houses in Carrington and so the use and storage of pesticides at the facility must adhere to the strictest controls,” Mrs Marler said.

“Dust from grain transportation is also an issue that needs to be managed to ensure GrainCorp’s business activities have a minimal impact on the local community. Air quality is an important issue that can affect everyone, so it is important that we continue to work to get on top of these incidents quickly and effectively.

“Correct labelling, handling and reporting are much more than just housekeeping – they are conditions of a specific environmental licence that the EPA works to enforce to protect the health of Carrington residents and the local environment.

Penalty notices are just one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.

For more information about the EPA’s enforcement work visit http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm 


Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 05 October 2016